I thought we’d be facing some lousy weather for our first day of #DogWalkingWeek, but we got lucky! After two days and 3 inches of rain, even though the day started out chilly (only 45 degrees) and dreary, the sun came out when it was time for Luke and I to head out for the first walk. In the interest of Keeping it Simple for myself, I take one dog at a time, and alternate turns. It was Luke’s turn for a walk on Day 1.
I decided to go to a place about 5 minute’s drive from our house. During last year’s Walk Your Dog week, I did take Cricket to this same general area. This is a long dirt road with no houses on one end, and a dirt pit with dirt roads off the main road. I believe this location was once intended to be a housing development, but it never went through. The dirt pit has a circular road, and then off one end the road goes up a hill into the woods. On weekends there are often dirt bikers zooming around here, but during the week it’s much quieter. When I took Cricket here last year we stuck to the main road because the dirt bikers were out.
First up: on the way, stop at the farm up the street to pick up some fresh eggs, and hope Luke doesn’t bark at the chickens (luckily they weren’t out). I love living in the country!
I followed my own advice to dress in layers, which turned out to be wise because once we got out walking in the sun I warmed up quickly. In fact, I shed one layer before we even left the car. Since we want our walking to be about Having Fun, I thought it would be fun to take a selfie with myself and each dog before we set out on our walks. If I keep looking this silly though, I might not keep that up, so no promises there!
We parked off the main road at the dirt pit, and walked around the circular loop but then ended up going onto the main road. I was letting Luke follow his nose and that’s the way it took us. You can see in the photo below what a pretty road it is, and our fall foliage is just starting to make it’s appearance now.
We walked a ways up the road, and then turned around and headed back into the dirt pit area and up the hill. We walked to the peak of the hill and turned around to see a beautiful view!
Luke is doing his Multi-tasking here. We work on his “heel” and “watch me” commands when walking. I let him sniff all he wants, but I draw the line at stopping to eat grass! I learned today that when I say “leave it”, he’ll stop eating the grass and get moving again!
I also promised to share a bit about some of the equipment we use. All the links to products I’m including are affiliate links, so if you click on them and order something, we will receive a small commission (and thank you for doing so).
You can see in the photo that Luke is wearing his Outward Hound Quick Release Backpack. This is still my favorite thing to walk him with. He is comfortable with it, and I feel that it keeps him secure from wriggling out of it. We didn’t use the saddlebags this time, the mesh pockets could still hold poop bags, his bag of treats, and I had put my earmuffs in there because I thought it was going to be colder! I can also slip the full poop bag in there when needed, so I don’t have to carry it.
I still like walking hands-free, but occasionally I want the little more control of a regular leash. The SnapLeash works perfectly for this, because you can use it either way! It is not quite as comfortable as the Umbilical Belt, but it gives you the option of having it around your waist, or using it as a regular leash. I did have it around my waist most of the time, and when walking down that rocky hill, I felt a little better holding the leash normally so I could control my footing better. Hands free is great for taking photos, and for handing out those treats when we’re training. The Snapleash was actually perfectly comfortable too. You can read our full review of it by clicking here.
It was not very warm when we headed out, so we didn’t carry water or anything this time. But when we got back to the car I was thirsty so thought Luke probably was too. I had a bottle of water in the car, and our handy collapsible water dish, which Luke happily drank out of.
I think we did well for Day 1 – we walked just under a mile and a half, which took us right around 45 minutes. It really was the perfect day for a walk!
Thank you to Pet Lifestyle Expert & Animal Behaviorist Colleen Paige, National Walk Your Dog Week founder: http://www.walkyourdogweek.com/.
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Please be sure to check with your doctor and veterinarian before changing or beginning a new exercise routine.